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#HonestAmy review at Pleasance Dome, Edinburgh – ‘candid solo show about cancer battle’

Amy Booth-Steel in #HonestAmy at Pleasance Dome, Edinburgh. Photo: Richard Southgate
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Amy Booth-Steel has been through the mill. A successful jobbing actor and a popular member of the theatre community, the trajectory of her life and career changed in 2014 when she was diagnosed with stage 3 cancer.

Thankfully now clear of the disease, in #HonestAmy Booth-Steel speaks candidly about the illness and the subsequent mental and social problems that manifested as a result.

There are no shortage of confessional shows on the fringe, but Booth-Steel’s is a class act, filled with warmth, honesty and outstanding comic timing.

The humour may be mostly self-deprecating but the byword here is honesty. Booth-Steel tells it like it is, whether she’s fighting off mental-health demons, braving the indignity of illness or simply enduring terrible online dates.

Following her diagnosis, the performer took up playing the ukulele and, despite admitting her own limitations on the instrument, its gentle sound provides a melancholic lilt to the comedy.

Kathy Burke proves an understanding and intelligent director, knowing from first-hand experience the importance of truth in any comic endeavour.

Add to this Alistair Lindsay’s smart, empathetic lighting design and #HonestAmy chimes perfectly with the fringe’s current focus on the need for self-care and well-being.

Kathy Burke to direct new play as part of Frantic Assembly 25th anniversary programme

 

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Verdict
Uplifting confessional song cycle delivered with warmth and style
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